AMD Radeon HD 6990 - The New King of Graphics

Test Setup

Test Setup

We’ll be evaluating the new Radeon HD 6990 with our X58 testbed which has the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
  • 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 G.Skill memory in triple channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

The Radeon HD 6990 will be pitted against the current crop of high-end graphics card. We wanted to see just how much faster it will be compared to the AMD’s previous dual-GPU card, the Radeon HD 5970. We also wanted to know how it’ll match up against two Radeon HD 6970 cards in CrossFireX configuration, but unfortunately, our cards refused to CrossFire properly (quite likely due to difference in video BIOS) as it would crash whenever we tried running any benchmarks. So the results for this configuration were based on an older set of cards and drivers where we managed to run this configuration successfully.

Against NVIDIA, we have included results of their two fastest and most powerful cards, the 512 CUDA cores GeForce GTX 580 and the less powerful GeForce GTX 570, and also that of two GeForce GTX 570 cards in SLI. The GeForce GTX 580 in SLI mode is missing from our comparison due to limited availability of test cards.

The list of card tested and driver versions used:

  • AMD Radeon HD 6990 4GB GDDR5 (AMD Catalyst 11.4 Preview)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 11.2)
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970 2-way CrossFireX (Catalyst 10.11)
  • AMD Radeon HD 5970 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 11.2)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 2-way SLI (ForceWare 263.09)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 1560MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 266.58)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 1280MB GDDR5 (ForceWare 263.09)

The list of benchmarks used:

  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
  • Futuremark 3DMark 11
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Warhammer: Dawn of War 2
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • “Heaven" from Unigine v2.1
  •  S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
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